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Trump was a symptom of American decline that Biden is unlikely to reverse

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With former Vice President Joe Biden now having been confirmed as the winner of the 2020 election, many are wondering what comes next. Not much is likely to happen for probably the next four years in terms of major legislation. But there are some changes that could happen, especially in terms of foreign policy, where the American president has the most unchecked power.

Some have postulated that “nothing will change” in terms of policy between Biden and current President Donald Trump and others actually believe it could be worse. According to those in the latter camp, Biden, or at least those who will be in his administration, will be more dangerous because they actually know what they’re doing. I disagree.

The United States under the administration of President Barack Obama inevitably understood that the country’s capabilities were being stretched and if it could not focus on one particular issue, it would wear itself thin and potentially lose on every front. Instead, pragmatic decisions had to be made in order to maintain US global hegemony, which was evident during Obama’s foreign policy focus shift from the Middle East to East Asia.

Seizing on the US shale oil and natural gas boom that began in 2008 thanks to developments in hydraulic fracturing (fracking), right when Obama was on his way to the White House, the administration took the opportunity to spring the US on a path to being a net exporter of energy, which happened in 2019 and is often wrongly credited to Donald Trump.

Under President Obama, US gas production increased 35 percent, gas consumption increased 19 percent and crude oil production increased 80 percent. This was not incidental.

According to Obama himself, his administration opened public lands for drilling even more than President George W. Bush. “The natural gas boom has led to cleaner power, and greater energy independence….Natural gas isn’t just appearing magically…. We’re encouraging it and working with the industry,” Obama said during the second presidential debate in 2012.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) anticipated in 2019, as a result of Obama’s policies, that the US could become the largest liquefied natural gas (LNG) exporter within the next five years, leading the way in the global “dash to gas.” It was also Obama that signed into law the end to the US ban on crude exports in 2015........

© RT.com

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